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Consumers plan for thrifty Christmas as two in three say they’ll have less to spend

07 November 2022

  • Half of consumers say rising prices will see them having to spend more this Christmas;
  • At the same time, two thirds believe they will have less money to spend;
  • Consumers indicate that they will look for smarter ways to save on festive gift expenditure, with one in ten looking to buy second hand, two in five either seeking sale or discounted items, and another two in five planning to switch to cheaper brands or stores; Meanwhile,
  • One in ten consumers plan to forgo buying gifts altogether.

UK consumers are signalling a thriftier approach to the 2022 festive season, as 59% believe they will have less money overall to spend during the Christmas period, according to new research from Deloitte.

Surveying over 3,000 UK consumers about their spending intentions for the retail sector’s ‘Golden Quarter’, 38% of respondents say they will switch to cheaper brands or stores to seek out gifts and, when it comes to Christmas Day dinner, one in three (35%) consumers plan to do at least part of their food shop at a discounter supermarket.

With rising costs adding pressure to budgets, one in ten (11%) intend to purchase gifts either second hand or via reselling platforms this year.

Oliver Vernon-Harcourt, head of retail at Deloitte, said: “Consumers are entering the festive season with budgets under more pressure this year, and it is not surprising that almost all are considering affordability and adapting their typical Christmas spending habits in one way or another. The economic circumstances in which we enter the period has, perhaps inadvertently, fostered a spirit of thrift amongst some consumers who are looking to save money on celebrations this year.

“For some, this will mean looking to the ‘pre-loved’ market for gifts or scouting out presents via resellers. For others, this could mean shopping with cheaper stores or brands or, in the case of food, buying Christmas dinner ingredients from the discounter supermarkets.”

With the retail calendar also fast-approaching large promotional events, such as Black Friday, nearly half (46%) of consumers say they intend to buy more gifts either on sale or discounted this year.

Céline Fenech, consumer insight lead at Deloitte, commented: “Whilst it is not unusual for consumers to look for discounts in the run up to Christmas, this year’s shopping events, like Black Friday, could see even more interest than usual as budget-conscious consumers look for smarter ways to bring down the cost of their Christmas spending.”

According to Deloitte’s data, 54% of consumers intend to shop for Christmas in November and the first two weeks of December; a period which includes Black Friday.

Fenech added: “Some consumers have also indicated that they will shop closer to Christmas Day to not only manage budgets but also take advantage of any discounts. For retailers, this will mean ensuring availability of product ranges to suit all budgets and include more ‘gift’ items within promotional ranges, expanding on the clothing and footwear, and electronic goods that are usually purchased during Black Friday events.”

Over half (56%) of consumers believe they will be spending more this Christmas because of rising prices. Whilst many consumers are looking to be more resourceful with budgets, 8% state they will simply not buy Christmas gifts this year.

Vernon-Harcourt concluded, “Ongoing rising costs have seen consumer spending habits shift for a prolonged time, with non-essential items often the first to go. Unfortunately, it appears that this cost-cutting will also be reflected on some aspects of Christmas celebrations as some consumers will forgo gift-giving altogether. Whilst this will be a difficult financial decision for some, others will have re-prioritised what the festive period means to them, following a number of COVID-impacted Christmases.”


Notes to editors

About the research

The Deloitte Consumer Tracker is based on a consumer survey carried out by independent market research agency, YouGov, on Deloitte’s behalf. This survey was conducted online with a nationally representative sample of 3,226 consumers in the UK aged 18+ between 17th and 18th September 2022. Overall consumer confidence is calculated as an aggregate of six individual measures: job security, job opportunities, household disposable income, level of debt, children’s education and welfare, general health and wellbeing. Since Q3 2019, respondents have been asked their view on the state of the UK economy.

The Deloitte Consumer Tracker began in Q3 2011.

About Deloitte

Deloitte in Jersey delivers audit, accountancy, tax, financial and risk advisory and business consulting and transformation services to many leading businesses in the jurisdiction and beyond. Deloitte spans more than 150 countries and territories.

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
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